1077. There are few negatives that cannot be improved by a little dodging in the printing, and with a little care, most pleasing effects can be produced, which are not visible in the original negative.

1078. The average photographer who is generally successful in exposures is bound to meet with failures once in a while, and frequently his failures are on most important pictures. In professional studio work the operator, no matter how skilled, or how carefully he may work, is sure to occasionally meet with failures. Oftentimes the poorest printing quality negative he has produced is the best likeness of the subject, and if such negatives are ordered from, it is up to the retoucher and printer to make the best print possible from the negative in question. The retoucher can soften harsh lines, etc., but it is the duty of the printer to hold back the shadows and equalize the results from the negative.

1079. In considering altering, or dodging, in printing, the photographer has but one idea in mind; that is, to balance the negative so it will yield uniform prints. This may require the strengthening and building-up of portions that are weak, or the retarding of the parts that are too strong, or perhaps both. All this can be accomplished by a little care and time devoted to doctoring the negative.

1080. The materials necessary for this work are few and inexpensive. The following outfit should be in every printing room: 1 oz. powdered yellow ochre; a tube of Prussian blue; 1 ounce of glycerine, or in its place a paraffine candle will answer; a bottle of ground-glass substitute; one E Faber blue pencil; a dozen sheets of fine tissue paper, or onion skin.

1081. With the above outfit one is supplied with all the paraphernalia necessary for the altering and dodging of a negative.

1082. Let us, for convenience, place the regular run of negatives into three classes:

1083. Class 1. A good uniform negative with excellent quality throughout; a negative which, if all the quality that is in the plate could be obtained in the print, would be most satisfactory. Such a negative is to be considered a model.

1084. Class 2. In this class will be considered weak, thin, flat negatives, full of detail, but lacking in snap and contrast.

1085. Class 3. In this class will be considered hard, contrasty negatives; plates with clear glass shadows. These are usually the most difficult from which to print.

1086. Included in this class we will consider negatives of subjects, or objects, possessing decided contrasts. For instance, a figured gown in white, with a black background; groups with some gowned in white, others in black; at-home portraits, where there are decided lights and shadows. Usually negatives of this character, unless very carefully made, are liable to prove too contrasty, and require some dodging in the printing, to produce even results.

1087. Considering the various classes of negatives in the regular order, we will begin with Class 1, the ideal negative. An ideal negative may possess varying degrees of strength. The negative itself may appear anything but beautiful. It may have a gray-brown tone, or even a yellow, and yet be a negative with ideal printing quality.

1088. By an ideal negative is meant, not absolutely a negative beautiful to look at, but one that has the meat, the solidity - in a word, the quality for producing good, vigorous prints, without dodging in the printing.

1089. By the foregoing statement we do not mean that such a negative can be carelessly placed in bright sunlight and produce perfect prints. By no means. But by printing in the proper strength of light such negatives can be made to yield perfect prints. Therefore, it depends entirely upon the judgment of the printer as to the quality of the negative being printed from, for final results.

1090. For example, an ideal negative may have a gray-brown color, yet be soft, snappy and crisp. Such a negative must be printed slowly in the shade, so as to print deep into the emulsion and obtain all the meat there is in the negative.

1091. The slow class of negative, (strong, developed heavy,) can be printed in a light of greater strength for the reason that the strength of the negative will require longer exposure, thus printing deeper into the emulsion.

1092. Now let us consider a very thin, snappy negative, of an ugly yellow color, the shadows apparently thin, the highlights snappy but not hard - on the whole, a very displeasing negative to look at, yet a wonderful printer. Why? Because the ugly yellow color gives strength to the shadows, retards the printing of the entire plate evenly, thus permitting the light to penetrate deeply into the emulsion, retaining all the value there is in the negative. Such a negative, being thin, must be printed in medium strength light, while the same class of negative developed stronger should be printed in bright sunlight. In fact, if a yellow colored negative was exceedingly strong it would be difficult to produce satisfactory prints from it, but owing to the fact of its being extremely thin, the yellow is its salvation.

1093. Grading the light for different negatives may be done in many ways. If printing in a regular printing window, it should contain ground-glass. Or, if plain glass is used, the sash should be covered with tracing cloth, either tacked onto the window or attached to spring rollers, so that when the weather is dull the curtains may be rolled up, or removed from the sash, and the printing continued in dull light. When the sun is shining brightly the tracing cloth curtains can be drawn down, slightly diffusing the light. Where plain glass is used in the printing window it is unsafe to print even strong negatives without some diffusion, as streaks or imperfections in the glass will surely register upon the print.

1094. When printing from thin negatives, which apparently print too fast, cover the entire frame with fine tissue paper or onion skin. If you want to retain all there is in an ideal negative, never print in open sunlight, but always diffuse with ground-glass or tracing cloth. Never have the printing frame nearer than 12 inches from the ground-glass or tracing cloth. The greater the distance, the more diffusion and slowness of printing.

1095. While printing in large studios is sometimes carried on in open sunlight and out in the open air, it is dangerous, as the atmosphere affects the paper and will not yield as good results as where the temperature is more even. When the negative, the printing frame and the paper are all the same temperature, there is nothing to interfere with the printing.

1096. Class 2. In considering this class of negatives, which are weak, thin, flat, full of detail, but lacking in snap and contrast; the altering or dodging of such a negative, means of course, to supply the negative with that which it lacks in order to produce a good print. The principal point of weakness in such a negative is lack of snap and contrast, so proceed to doctor the negative and to correct these errors. By slow printing will be obtained more strength, so immediately cover the printing frame with one or two thicknesses of onion skin, according to the quality of the negative. After covering the printing frame with the tissue, place the negative in the frame, holding it up to the light to look through it. Note the parts of the negative which need strengthening; apply to these parts on the tissue paper, a little dry yellow ochre, rubbing it over the surface of the tissue with the end of the finger. The heavier you apply the ochre the greater will be the restraining. If only slight strengthening is required, apply lightly.

Dry ochre should be used on all parts which require strengthening, or holding back, during printing.

1097. After the large patches or parts of the negative have been cared for on the tissue paper, next flow the glass side of the negative with ground-glass substitute, which will set and dry very quickly. When dry hold the negative before the light, and with a Faber pencil, trace over the ground-glass, building up the highlights. The pencil is especially convenient for portrait negatives, in holding back minor shadows in the hair, softening the shadows around the eye, forehead, and strengthening the lines in the drapery. These lines on the ground-glass must be made very lightly, because being so near the film, if made too strong, they would print sharp instead of soft and blending.

1098. With a little care one can alter any negative, balancing it so that it will produce uniform prints.

1099. Class 3. In this class of negatives, containing heavy contrasts, the negative should be treated the same as for Class 2, as far as tissuing the frame and flowing the negative with ground-glass substitute is concerned. When doctoring the shadows, however, spread the ochre evenly over the entire thin portion of the negative, gradually blending according to the density of each portion of the shadows. After doctoring for the shadows on the tissue, apply similar treatment to the ground-glass, but in a milder form. This treatment should restrain the shadows sufficiently.

1100. Now for the highlights. With a tuft of cotton dipped in alcohol, remove the ground-glass substitute from the highlight portions of the negative entirely. If this does not give even prints, and the highlights still print too strong, rub a little glycerine over the tissue covering this portion of the negative. The glycerine will make the paper transparent and admit the full rays of light upon these portions.

1101. There are cases where only parts of a negative are weak, as in portraiture, where the hands or the face are a trifle too dark, the remainder of the negative being of good printing quality. In such a case do not ground-glass the negative at all, but on the glass side, apply a little Prussian blue to the parts to be restrained. Squeeze from the tube a drop or two of this color upon a clean glass, and with the tip of one finger spread it on the glass, blending it down to a mild tone; then with the same finger apply it to the portions of the negative that you wish to hold back. This of course you will do on the glass side. The grain of the flesh in the finger acts as a sort of stipple, giving a soft blend, while the blue color, being somewhat transparent, will not restrain as much as yellow. Consequently, the blue may be applied directly to the glass side of the negative with good results. In fact the majority of negatives made by professional photographers are "blued " in certain parts, to equalize the printing.

1102. While the ground-glass substitute referred to in this instruction can be purchased from any photographic supply dealer, you can prepare it yourself according to the following formula: